A Bit About Me...
Hi and welcome to my website. I am so glad you have taken this first step towards more joy in your life!
As a child, I grew up next door to a family whose oldest son had a severe developmental and intellectual disability. His name was Kevin, and in those days there were not any services or schools for a person with his special needs,so he spent his days at home with his mother. Sometimes, Kevin would figure out how to open the door and wander into the street. The neighborhood kids would see him and scatter yelling, “Kevin’s loose!” But not me. For some reason, I was not scared. Despite being 7 years older, at least a foot taller and many pounds heavier than me, I would slip my hand in his and gently lead him back to his house. I often went inside and hung out with him and his mother for a while. His mother lived a hard life and yet we would often laugh together.
Kevin died when I was 13 years old. I did not know it then, but he started me on my life’s path to helping others, advocating for those who might not have a voice, and finding joy amidst adversity.
When it was time to go to college, I decided to study Special Education and later Rehabilitation Counseling at Penn State. My first job was at a day program for adults who had severe and profound intellectual and developmental disabilities. From day one, my co-workers often remarked about how I spoke to each client as if they were an adult regardless of disability and I would answer, “Because they are adults.” I was always looking for strengths and emphasizing the positive while those around me tended to only see the disability.
A few years later, I graduated from The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill with an MS in Rehabilitation Counseling adding family counseling to my studies.
For over 30 years, I have helped people with disabilities - ranging in age from birth to 80 - and their families advocate for themselves, and live their fullest and most independent lives. Although I've never used the term “life coaching,” that's exactly what I have been doing. And I love it!
Along the way, I gave birth to my own sons - who both have autism spectrum disorder - and discovered it was harder for me to advocate for, and deal with, what life threw at us when it was my own children. Between my professional life and my home life, I began to feel overwhelmed and over-worked. I looked fabulous on the outside, but inside I was crumbling. I didn't set boundaries and was unable to say “No.” Everything I did was for someone else. My own needs came last, and it was taking a toll. Something had to change.
Today, I live in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina and have a fulfilled life. I've learned how to meet the needs of my clients and my own family AND still have time to pursue the things I love and need in my life like taking hikes out in nature with my husband, singing at the top of my lungs in the car riding down the road with my kids, reading a good book on my porch, posing on a yoga mat, sitting around the fire pit with friends, laughing, dancing, and sitting still while following my breath.
What do you need and want in your life? What changes do you need and want to make, but just can’t seem to take the first step? I know life is hard, so let me help you do what I did, and let's find your joy together!